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Wildcats, Redskins in gear for state track meet
Track and Field

Richmond Hill and Bryan County will be well represented at this weekend’s state track meet and two Wildcats have excellent shots at winning individual championships as do two relay teams.

Akira Burt, who has signed to play volleyball at Georgia State University, won the 400-meter dash and Autumn Smiley won the pole vault in last Saturday’s Class 7A sectional meet at Carrollton. Other winners for the Wildcats were the girls 4 x 200 relay team and the boys 4 x 800.

The top eight finishers in each event qualified for the state meet which will be held at McEachern High School in Powder Springs. Those who finished ninth and 10th will be alternates and will compete should someone be forced to drop out. The Class A-D1 meet will be held at Rome.

Smiley, a senior who finished eighth in the pole vault in Class 6A last year, vaulted 10-0 to claim the sectional and that was six inches better than the winner of the other 7A sectional.

Burt was clocked at 56.09 in winning her race. That was the second- best time in the two sectionals behind Brookwood’s Serena Tate who ran a 54.45. The girls relay team ran a 1:39.98 while Brookwood won its sectional at 1:39.39. The boys relay team finished in 8:08.51 which is the third best time among the two sectionals.

“I think after the section meet, I’m a little more excited than I anticipated,” Coach Levi Sybert said. “I think they (Burt, Smiley) performed a little bit more than I thought they would. They stepped up pretty good.

“I’m really curious as to what the second week of this little tournament is going to turn out like,” Sybert said. “Autumn has been very consistent and Akira has been very consistent, too.

“They’re going to have to have big performances but will that be enough to win or not? I don’t know. But they should be right there in the hunt. It’s going to be tough. It’s a new classification and I’m not really that familiar with these schools.”

Bryan County is in the midst of one of its best track seasons in several years and the Redskins had six boys and a relay team qualify along with two girls qualifiers along with several who qualified as alternates.

Richmond Hill’s boys qualifiers; Pole vault: Garrett McDade, 5th; 400 meters: Santonio Rio, 5th; 800: Noah Sybert, 7th; Jayden Taylor, 8th; 1600 meters: Memphis Rich, 8th; 3200: Rich 5th; 4 x 400: Kendrick Joshua, Gregory Omarion, Jayden Taylor, Santonio Rio, 4th; 4 x 800: Chester Gregg, Noah Sybert, Me’Lik Malloy-McLaughlin, Santonio Rio, 1st; 300 meter hurdles: Kendrick Joshua, 3rd.

Girls qualifiers: Pole vault: Autumn Smiley, 1st; shot put: Jada Brown, 5th; Aaliyah Houston, 8th; 100 meter hurdles: Mmekom Inyang, 8th; 300 hurdles: Jayla Lawrence, 8th; 200 meters: Jayla Lawrence, 6th; 400: Akira Burt, 1st; 3200: Julia Wilson 8th; 4 x 200: Jasmine Wood, Akira Burt, Kalyn Heileman, Jayla Lawrence, 1st; 4 x 400: Adeline Althen, Akira Burt, 3rd; 4x800: Adeline Althen, Kylie Boleski, Julia Wilson, Somaria Courtney, 3rd; 4 x 100: Jasmine Wood, Alexa Hamilton, Briauna McDaniel, Mmekom Inyang, 6th.

Bryan boys qualifiers: Shot put: Austin Clemons, 8th; discus: Clemons 6th; high jump: Javin Collins, 3rd; DaVonte Bowers, 4th; pole vault: Jayden Lee, 2nd; 4x400: 7th; 400 meters: Javin Collins, 8th.

Girls qualifiers: Long jump: Ashanti Brown, 5th; triple jump: Za-Yana Hankerson, 6th.

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